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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
According to what Juho found out, The Great Book Club: Yun Woo Special had been planned in celebration of Yun Woo’s success as a translator and for ‘Language of God’ approaching its glorious end. When Juho checked the bestsellers’ rankings, ‘Language of God’ was at the top, followed by ‘Belongings’ in second place.
Even after the news got out that Yun Woo and Won Yi Young were the same person, the competition between the two authors remained a popular subject, and because of its nature, it was easy to provoke readers. The media responded to changes in the bestsellers’ rankings with exaggeration, pouring out articles like ‘Yun Woo’s Victory’ or ‘Won Yi Young Stands Victorious,’ and Juho found himself having a strange emotional experience when looking at them.
Then, the preview of the Yun Woo Special came on TV, and Juho saw the audience going wild as Myung Joo Mu stepped into the set as a special guest along with the hosts of the show, each holding a book by Yun Woo and Won Yi Young in their hands. They had to be planning to mention Kelley Coin at some point, and the brief overview of the show was more than enough to get viewers excited.
Juho, too, was curious as to what kind of subjects would be coming up on the show. As he checked for the showtime, his phone began to ring. It was a call from Seo Kwang.
“I’m coming over next week,” Seo Kwang declared. Juho was standing around his room, which was filled with piles of manuscripts.
“I don’t mind, but did you come across a good book recently? What’s the occasion?”
“There are always good books, my friend. Anyway, do you get where I’m going with this? Me? Coming over? Next week?”
Next week. There was something that crossed Juho’s mind.
“You mean the Yun Woo Special?”
“Why don’t you watch it at your place?”
“Why stay home and waste the opportunity to watch the Yun Woo Special with Yun Woo?” Seo Kwang said shamelessly.
“As you wish.”
Just like that, Juho made plans to watch the special episode of The Great Book Club with his friend, Seo Kwang. Then, time passed, and the day they had agreed to watch the Yun Woo Special together came around, and Seo Kwang arrived promptly at Juho’s house.
“Mind if I look around your room?”
“There’s nothing worth seeing in there.”
“The fact that that’s where Yun Woo writes makes it more than worth seeing,” Seo Kwang said as he opened the door to Juho’s room while the commercials came on TV.
“Man, this room is always filled to the brim with writing,” Seo Kwang murmured, looking at the papers and boxes that filled the room, stacked precariously on top of each other.
“What if you get crushed to death by these massive piles of paper?”
Secretly, Juho thought to himself that being crushed to death by piles of his own works wouldn’t be such a bad way to go. Truth be told, it was a death much more dignifying for an author than drowning in a river.
“Where’s this language from?”
“Aren’t there a number of them?”
“Yes, there are, but what you’re looking at is their official language, Hindi.”
“I’m telling you: one would think that you’re a linguist if they saw your room.”
Looking around the room for a little while, Seo Kwang found yet another thing that caught his interest. It was the resource on Medieval and Old English given to Juho by James, and even the notes were written in English. Seeing those, Seo Kwang went through them for a brief moment, and Juho observed him quietly.
“You can read them for the most part, right?”
“I still need a dictionary, but more or less.”
“That’s incredible! It’s only been a year.”
“Right?” Seo Kwang answered proudly. “My reading habit has really paid off. I’m telling you, books are such marvelous things.”
Then, he went on to list the benefits of reading for a little while and subtly changed the subject to ask, “How was translating?”
“It was hard, not to mention how exhausting it was. There were a lot of things to be mindful of, so I struggled quite a bit. I didn’t have the freedom to do whatever I wanted.”
“Right,” Seo Kwang said while looking at Juho.
“It was still a really good learning experience. It was like getting a second hand experience on a different writing style.”
At that, Seo Kwang nodded and said, “I read the translation.”
“How was it?” Juho asked light-heartedly.
“It seemed like it wasn’t your first time,” Seo Kwang answered, without taking his eyes off of the resource on Medieval and Old English.
“That’s good to hear.”
“You know what though?”
“I contributed to your translation skill.”
Then, Seo Kwang looked up, wearing an overly confident expression.
“So, I started taking a class on translation recently.”
“And I noticed that people are always debating on how to better translate a sentence. Students there have to discuss how to translate something or debate on a randomly chosen subject. Of course, there are debates on books, too.”
Juho caught on to what his friend was trying to say immediately. Seo Kwang had the habit of wanting to talk about a book that had caught his interest, and as the conversation continued, the differences in opinions tended to become more apparent. It was only natural since there was no objective answer. As opinions conflicted, the two parties provided evidence to support their arguments while disagreeing and proposing questions, and that was just what Seo Kwang was doing in his translation class.
“Coming to think of it, you talk about books on a daily basis. Like you’d die if you didn’t.”
“True, but know this: you were doing something that would improve your translation skill without even knowing, and you can say that I played a part in that astounding achievement of yours. You’re welcome.”
Though Juho didn’t feel all that grateful toward Seo Kwang, he was aware that having a friend to converse with was a blessing, and in Seo Kwang’s own words, they might even have helped each other in some ways.
“You’re right. Thanks.”
“That’s not a lip service I’m hearing, is it?”
Then, Seo Kwang got to the main point.
“What do you want?” Juho asked.
To which, his friend answered, “This,” as he pulled up the resource on Medieval and Old English in his hands.
‘That’s it? All he had to do was ask,’ Juho thought.
“All right. It’s all yours.”
Seo Kwang rejoiced, and while he was at it, Juho gave him a series of books that he had been collecting in order to learn other languages.
“There’s a book on languages like Spanish and French here, as well as Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese. It’s probably best that you interact with languages as much as possible, so take them if you don’t mind. This, here, is on Egyptian, and it’s quite interesting. This one’s on how written languages came about, and this is a study on the written languages of eastern countries as a whole. And this one here…”
“OK! OK! My gosh, how many books do you think I can carry? Besides, what about you? What are you gonna read later?”
“Don’t worry about it. I have it all in my head.”
“Well, good for you.”
In the end, Juho ended up giving away six books on top of several other books that he had collected for reference in writing ‘Language of God.’
While Seo Kwang carefully stuffed his backpack with those books, Juho observed him intently. In hindsight, Seo Kwang had been doing a lot of things that would contribute to translating, such as reading and writing. One of the painful realizations Juho had while translating was that he had to wrestle with every single sentence in the book as sentences tended to be intertwined with each other. He had to be careful to follow an invisible trail.
One of the first things that Juho had to do as a translator was to read what he was translating, referring to the given information for implicit ones in the book. He carefully studied the author’s intent, hidden or omitted significances and meanings, point of views, and the characters’ states of mind. Although many would find those subjects to be unfamiliar and technical, it was a walk in the park for Seo Kwang, and the fact that he was part of the Literature Club spoke of his writing skill.
Juho stared intently at Seo Kwang as he saw his friend in a different light. Seo Kwang’s significant improvement in English in the past year was not a coincidence. He had been training himself without knowing. Perhaps he had much more potential as translator than he realized.
Soon, the showtime came around, and the two sat on the couch in front of the TV with snacks and beverages.
The Great Book Club. The show started with a cheerful introduction by the five cast members made of two hosts, one book critic, one poet, and two celebrity guests, who had yet to make an appearance.
“If they were just gonna tell us who the guests were, they should’ve just showed them from the start,” Seo Kwang muttered as he sipped on his beverage. Myung Joo Mu’s appearance on The Great Book Club had already drawn a significant amount of media attention. With that, the cast members started off according to the script.
“All right, everyone. The day we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. Dreams do come true!”
There was excitement in everyone’s faces.
“That’s right. The special episode our viewers have been desperately waiting for. Yun Woo Special!”
Then, the five cast members applauded simultaneously.
“Do you think these people know that Yun Woo’s watching?”
“It’s not a live show.”
“Well, do you think they knew while they were filming?”
As Juho munched on the snacks, Seo Kwang giggled mischievously beside him.
“Mr. Lee, you’re one of the people who’s been most looking forward to this day.”
With that, the camera focused on Pyung Jin’s face. He was wearing a blue tie this time.
“That’s right. I waited anxiously for this.”
The critic didn’t deny the host. Then, the poet sitting next to him said, “What you shared about Yun Woo’s translation turned out to be quite sensational.”
“Yes. If you look at the bulletin board at our website, there are loads of people who are saying that they didn’t realize the importance of proper translations until they heard you.”
“I agree. I didn’t realize how important translations were, either.”
The cast members conversed candidly, and after a little while, a male celebrity chimed in.
“Now, should we bring in our special guest? We went through a lot of trouble to cast him.”
“It’s not Yun Woo, is it?”
“Oh, man! That’d be amazing!”
Amid a number of reactions, the three hosts shouted simultaneously.
“One of the hottest actors of this generation.”
“The special guest of this special occasion for The Great Book Club is…”
“Myung Joo Mu of Trace of a Bird!”
As The five cast members sprung up from their seats at the same time in order to welcome the actor, the set opened up from behind, and Myung Joo Mu appeared.
“Ooh. That’s him,” Seo Kwang murmured while Juho drank his beverage. Just like the host had said, Myung Joo Mu was an actor who rose quickly to stardom after his appearance on the Trace of a Bird movie. As his long years as a nameless actor became known to the public, he started appearing more frequently on TV.
As the actor greeted the cast members and the audiences with a bright smile, everyone took their seats and candidly moved on to the main conversation. Fitting to its name, the show revolved around books, and that week was about the ones written by Juho.
“If you look here, we have books all the way from Yun Woo’s debut title to his most recent book, the sixth volume of ‘Language of God.'”
“This really feels like the Yun Woo Special!”
The cast members exclaimed as they examined the books.
“Despite having debuted recently, Yun Woo has written quite an array of books, from pure literature to genre novels, and now, a translation.”
“I think versatility is one of Yun Woo’s biggest strengths.”
“Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I hear the name Yun Woo, I get the image of an author who writes fanatically. Not that I’ve met him in person or anything. Haha!”
The poet added onto what Pyung Jin said, saying that he wasn’t entirely wrong in the way he felt.
“What do you think, Myung Joo? Do you agree?”
As the host passed the turn to speak to Myung Joo, the actor thought for a brief moment and opened his mouth to say, “I’m not sure. I only met him once, but I never saw him write even then.”
“We don’t even know what he looks like.”
“I do. Saw him from his head to toe.”
Ignoring Seo Kwang’s playful remark, Juho focused on the show.
“Now, Myung Joo?” the female host called for the actor, and he answered with his distinctively low voice.
Then, the host asked, “What are your favorite books?”
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